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Free trade pact with Japan paves way for more industrial activity: Tripathy

India's Free Trade Agreement with Japan is a beginning for the country to consider Japan as a good economic partner, Mr A K Tripathy, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an outreach session on Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), Mr Tripathy said: “Japan and Korea have, in recent years, got out of domestic production of textile garments. India will benefit out of this.”

“Besides textiles, the industries here can also consider sending service professionals, nurses to work in Japan. There are collaborations happening in the gaming and animation sector, auto components,” he said, before hinting at the possibility of Japanese ventures relocating to India.

According to him, Japan might consider relocating its units from countries such as Korea, Taiwan and China to India as the countries are becoming expensive. “Japan is looking at South India,” he added.

He further said that the Indian industries should expand the trade and investment potential in Myanmar, Africa and the CIS countries among others.

“The business climate is good in India. Our banking system is good, capital market is well protected and our Foreign Direct Investment policy – on its way to a more liberal regime. It is the right time for the business people here to explore opportunities in the South East Asian region,” Mr Tripathy said.

Earlier, delivering the keynote address at the event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, Coimbatore in association with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, he hailed the region for its growth in the wet grinder business, auto component, gems and jewellery, poultry, IT and ITeS sectors.

He pointed out that India's trade was much more with the SAARC countries and also in South East Asia.

“The merchandise exports from India, is estimated at around $300 billion this year as compared to $250 billion last year. India's trade is also growing,” he added.

Mr Tripathy said such agreements not only provided the potential for import and export but also opened up opportunities for investment. “Our infrastructure requires investment; industries require investment and more so in the manufacturing space.”

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